After announcing who their skipper will be for the 2017 season earlier this month, the Cedar Rapids Kernels revealed Saturday who will round out their coaching staff.
New manager Tommy Watkins — a former hitting coach for the Kernels — will be joined by returning coaches J.P. Martinez (pitching) and Brian Dinkelman (hitting). Both Martinez and Dinkelman are entering their second seasons as Kernels coaches. Dinkelman replaced Watkins as the Cedar Rapids hitting coach last year after Watkins was moved up to Double-A for the 2016 season.
Both Martinez and Dinkelman played in the Midwest League, for the Beloit Snappers when the team was affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. (The Kernels are Minnesota’s current MWL affiliate.) Martinez went 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA, 20 saves, 92 strikeouts and 31 walks in 88.1 IP (53 games) for the 2005 Snappers. Dinkelman batted .283 with 7 HR and 21 RBI in 67 games with the 2007 Snappers.
I got Dinkelman’s autograph during my very first ballgame after starting my website/blog (Rochester in 2010). Random comment, I know, but I was excited to see his name.